They’re So Middle Management


As I delete yet another cold email event invite from my in box…

A friend and I were recently talking about the biz women groups here in town. We’ve been members of or attended events by pretty much all of them.  However, we seldom go to any of the meetings these days. Because, as my friend noted, “They’re so middle management.”  (She had run three big companies before she was 30.) She felt badly for saying that, until I chimed in with, “No, more like beginners and hobbyists” which sounds even meaner…but is it really?

Nothing wrong with beginners (we all started somewhere) or hobby businesses (I’m thinking of starting one myself), but generally they have different perspective and needs than experienced, established business people.

And, so we come to the problem of many organizations and events designed for women…

It’s assumed we’re all the same, just as lazy marketers the world over do when pitching to women.  Hey, one size fits all – and we all love pink, kids, and hugs! They assume we’re nice ladies with a little biz on the side (hubs pays the bills)…or we have no experience in finance (those numbers are scary!)…or we’re Mommies selling vitamins…that we want life coaching, mentoring, or the basics in marketing, sales and the like. Personally, I don’t want to spend forty bucks for rubber chicken and a smiley face “expert” lecture on life/work balance (I got it already!) As all women know (regardless of our biz), one size really doesn’t fit all… no matter what the label claims. (Example: “Financial planning for women.” What? Having ovaries makes a difference in how to invest?!)

When I served on the board of the local NAWBO chapter (National Association of Women Biz Owners), we constantly struggled with how to effectively address the needs of our members – from seasoned biz owner to beginner.  From hobbyist to hard charger.  If I loved a program or seminar, it baffled and bored at least half the members.  Then, the other half (and I) would practically sprain a muscle rolling our eyes at an inspirational speaker rambling on and on and on about how she overcame her particular crisis. Good for her, but listening to that much deep navel gazing gets boring quickly, and – really – there is such a thing as Too.Much.Information.  So, I know it’s tough. (Our fundamental problem? Trying to be all things to all people. It DOES NOT work).

…and, hello, industry trade groups everywhere (yes, tech geek boys, I’m talkin’ to you) – having yet another slapped-together single panel discussion at your event on why there aren’t more women in your industry is neither addressing the issue nor “marketing to women.”  In fact, it’s insulting to those of us already in the industry.  We’re already there…we just don’t get asked to sit on those panels…and, after all, someone has to be back at the office actually doing something.

By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter

Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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